Not only have I tried to determine
exactly how the name "Lac
hance" is supposed
to be spelled (as it was originally), with or without
an uppercase "C
but I've always been curious about the "space" between
the "La" and the "C
that is often found in the US spelling of the name. Sometimes
it is there, sometimes it is not. I have always written
my name as one complete word, but I haven't always used
a lowercase "c
Some of my research has led me to various original
documents. For instance, my Grandfather Antoine (Tony)
signed his immigration application "La"c"hance",
no uppercase "C".
In Sept 2001, I obtained a copy of my fathers birth
certificate. On here I found the name spelled "La"c"hance".
In his case, I suspect it somehow got changed in Military
records upon his enlistment in the Marine Corps.
Perhaps a response I received from Larry
Coderre of Canada may help to explain the
"In reply to your question about
spelling: In the early parish registers I have
seen a large number of the people could not sign their
names. By the 1880's and 90's some, but not all, could.
As a result, the spelling of a name was left up to the
priest, census taker or immigration officer. Often the
same priest in the same parish would spell the same
name differently from one entry to the next. In the
Ottawa-Hull phone book there are just under two hundred
(200) Lachances listed. Only those which are spelled
entirely in capitals have a capital
C. Hull is in the province of Québec
and Ottawa (in Ontario) has a large French population.
Incidently there are no Desjardins spelled with a capital
either although my wife, Lucille, says that she
has seen the name spelled Des Jardins. I AM ONLY GUESSING
but perhaps the capital C
and the capital J
was first used by an American immigration officer".
Lachance of Canada also wrote:
or LaChance? Almost
of the French speaking people use Lachance
but it is frequent that the people living in US write
LaChance. I suppose
that it is a deformation introduced by the people living
in the US. In English Chance means luck.. All we know
is that in the first Act concerning Antoine Pepin (dit
Lachance) in New
France, in January 1655, he is called Pepin dit Lachance,
but we don't know why. He was 18 years old and the Act
is about a concession, by Louis d'Ailleboust, concerning
pieces of land located in Sillery near Québec and also
in Lauzon, in front of Québec, on the South shore of
As for me, even though my birth certificate has the name
spelled, "the American way"...I have decided
that it is "correct" or, as it was originally,
with a small "c".
While visting Québec during the summer of 2001
I decided to take a look at the local (Québec City)
telephone book. Not only are there four full pages of
Lachances listed, but not one single one has an uppercase
this is just my own way of going back to my roots.